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Phillips leading his sport

Local combat sport veteran elected as president of Mixed Martial Arts South Africa.

The past few months have been very busy for Brakpan’s Raymond Phillips. The man who runs Xtreme Kickboxing Technologies (XKT) was elected as the official president of Mixed Martial

Arts South Africa (MMASA). He was previously the interim president of the organisation.

“When I was the interim president there were the negative people and the positive people. On social media, well you can’t really take what people say on social media seriously,” he said.

“But the clubs knew what they wanted. I was elected as president with 73% of the vote.”

Being the elected president now means he has more responsibilities over MMASA.

“When I was interim president I made sure that certain systems were put in place for MMASA in case I was not elected but at least for the new president it would be easier so we fall in line with International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF),” said Phillips.

“Internationally they say that South Africa is one of the best run federations. It’s funny because locally you get criticised but internationally you get recognised. I’m more respected overseas than I’m respected over here which is quite funny.”

Phillips is also the director of IMMAF in Africa and he has seen his sport get fully recognised by World Anti-Doping Association (WADA).

ALSO READ: Brakpan turning season around

This moves MMA to be part of the International Olympic Committee, pushing it closer to being an Olympic sport.

Being a lead administrator has meant that he has had to play a pivotal role in organising recent events, which have been happening as a result of Covid-19 restrictions being eased this year.

He was part of the organising committee that put together the recent African championships in Johannesburg and the South African Championships in Cape Town.

He has been involved in kickboxing which has also had its fair share of events. Then there has also been the small matter of running XKT with its talented fighters. The club had five of its members competing in the SA Kickboxing Championships in Mossel Bay.

“We brought back six gold and bronze medals which is more than any other club in Eastern Gauteng,” said Phillips.

“Being involved in the MMA at all those levels and being the chairperson of kickboxing in Ekurhuleni takes some effort in getting it all together.”

This all seems like a big balancing act for the combat sports veteran.

“I’ve got all this, my own club and my own business and sometimes I end up neglecting my business and notice later like ‘oh what happened to my finances?’ but it’s because I didn’t concentrate on them enough,” he laughs.

“It takes its toll on the family, it takes its toll on relationships, it takes its toll on everything but it’s like the old saying ‘the highest trees get the most wind’. But as a leader, you have to lead. You’ll have your critics and then you’ll have people who say ‘yes, you’re doing a great job’.”

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